By | February 12, 2013 30 Comments

Marriage Fraud

Nicholas Keung, reports a common story about marriage fraud and how it happened to Erin Sanden, a single woman from Canada who met  Jorge Manuel Batista Gonzalez, 33, while on vacation in Cuba. The two married.  Just three days after joining her in her home in Canada, Gonzalez took off, leaving an empty jar of money and a misspelled note, telling her not to look for him.

The Marriage to Cuban leaves Brampton bride brokenhearted and broke in

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Donna, thank you for this link – eugh……

“Marriage Fraud” should be a criminal offense and I feel so sorry for Erin Sanden.

Brightest blessings

Ox Drover

You know there are people all over the world in “third world” countries or in places with political turmoil or horrid economic conditions who will gladly romance and marry a man or woman from a better situated country (US or Canada and the UK) The UK actually has a “sham marriage” business going on where people are paid to have a sham marriage so someone can get into the UK.

I understand these people wanting to move to a “better” country, economically or politically, but at the same time, to use someone emotionally and financially to do it is just WRONG! I hope they catch thiis creep and send his arse back to Cuba.


I’m starting to think there are more of them than there are of us.

I can understand how Erin feels.Although the circumstances differ.My husband is from right here in this country.

I feel so betrayed,because I gave everything to the marriage.I was confused as to why or how he could go from a loving,affectionate person to an abusive,’cold fish’ withdrawing affection.Now I know…our marriage was a sham;a facade to give him a look of respectability in society.
My advice to Erin would be:GET MAD enough to forget the sentimental memories and do what you need to do to take care of yourself so that you can heal from the heartbreak and abuse!

Ox Drover

Blossom, you are right, they are not all from 3rd world countries, and not all male, FRAUD is pretty gender neutral, unfortunately.

Forgiving ourselves is a big part of healing, Just remember that and be nice to yourself!

Dear Ox,
I have reached that point of forgiving myself;and of being determined not to go back into the relationship.I feel alot more peaceful and receive alot of compliments from family and friends as to how much better I look since I left him.

The only thing I’m nervous about (and this was before reading Dupey’s posts) is whether or not he’ll leave me alone.He has shown himself to be obsessive in the past.He got me to go back to him twice.The first time was yrs ago when we only had 2 girls.He likes to say the third daughter is our ‘lovechild'(ewww,that leaves a bad taste in my mouth!).

This past weekend shows that he did not respect my feelings or the certified letter I’d sent him.Being in his wheelchair limited his access to certain areas,so it was easy to stay away from him.If he’d brought his rollator instead,it would have been a little harder-but I’m still faster than him,on foot.I live in a security apt complex.I’ve already decided that when I’m outside,as in walking my dog,I’ll wear a whistle around my neck.

Ox Drover

Blossom, I doubt that he will leave you alone if he has any way to contact you, usually if they do not have a new victim they stalk the old one…I imagine in a WC he isn’t going to be the beau of the ball with the ladies

That is what I was thinking.If he were in good health/shape,he MIGHT slither off,but in his shape he’s pretty desperate!

Ox Drover

Well, all you can do is to cut his potential ways to get in touch with you…change your phone number, e mail or block his access….lock your door and if it gets too bad, file for a restraining order for stalking.


I agree with truthspeak….. Marriage fraud should be a criminal offense. Unfortunately it’s not taken very seriously, even in divorce court. My so-called “marriage” was a sham. It was not an engagement followed by marriage. It was an “entrapment” which became a “hostage situation,” but it would have been next to impossible to prove in divorce court because it was not for money (not all marriage fraud is for money) and his lies were more subtle than the lies the money scammers tell. More subtle, but just as devastating and destructive.

Damn. Every time I feel like maybe I’m am going to be free of him one day, I start hating myself again for becoming his victim. I still have to see him two to three times per week to exchange the children and there are still some post divorce issues that are being finalized, so NC has been impossible. That’s probably why I’m feeling like jumping off a bridge tonight.

Giving into feelings of hating ourselves for becoming their victims is just falling into one more of their traps.As in it was always “OUR FAULT” whenever something went wrong.

You are doing the best you can under your circumstances.Although I was just wondering if you might be able to get a supportive friend to go with you or else deliver the children to your husband if possible.

From the username you chose,I can tell that you love your children.Be as good to yourself as you are to your children!

Ox Drover

lovingthem, I agree withh blossom, be good to yourself, your kiids need you…and like they tell you on an airplane, if you have to put on an oxygen mask and you have kids with you, put YOURS ON FIRST…if you are not healthy and okay, you can’t take care of them, soo it is important that YOU be OK for THEM….don’t let that fraud get and keep you down! You are more important than that. God bless.


Lovingthem, there was an excellent movie that starred Anthony Hopkins called “The Edge.” It’s a “survival” movie with some harrowing stuff, but one line that Hopkin’s character spoke still resonates with me, today. Without spoiling the movie, a group of men are stranded in the Alaskan wildnerness and they’re all convinced that they’re going to die where they stand. Hopkins says (paraphrasing), “Do you know why people who are lost end up dying? They die of shame. They’re ashamed that they got themselves into a predicament that they don’t believe that they can get out of.” Shame.

You’re not doing yourself any service by hating yourself, Lovingthem. You’re perpetuating the initial goals of the spath: dismantle and destroy. This “hating” of the Self is “normal” during recovery, on a short-term basis. But, when this self-hatred becomes crippling and overshadows everything that we do, it becomes an obsessive problem. It is a complete distraction from recovery because it’s so easy to hate – especially, to hate ourselves.

I will gently and firmly encourage you to consider counseling therapy with someone that “gets it” about spaths and the experiences that you’ve had. LoveFraud readers can type all of the “right” words to encourage and support you, but face-to-face interaction with a trained professional that “gets it” will not only help you to process your experiences, but to LET GO of the things that are distracting you from your own recovery.

OxD is spot-the-hayell-on about placing the oxygen mask over our own faces, FIRST, before assisting others. AWESOME analogy!!!! Setting yourself in order, first, is an imperative.

Self-hatred (for me, personally) was rooted in one of the MANY faulty beliefs that I maintained. I believed that I was undeserving of unconditional love, acceptance, approval, or validation. For whatever reason, I was UNWORTHY of these things – from others. So, if others wouldn’t approve of me, accept me, validate me, or love me, then I was UN-loveable and deserved hatred. Because I was unable to provide those things to myself, I simply hated myself BECAUSE I was dependent upon others to provide these things, and routinely didn’t, regardless of “reasons.”

The best source of counseling therapists that “GET IT” about sociopathy, PSTD, core-issues, etc. is via the domestic violence hotline in your area. Or, visit to learn more about what’s available to you. Calling the number is nothing to be ashamed of or to be afraid of. They’re not going to send a SWAT team to your house, swoop you up, and drop you off at a mental institution!!! LOL!!! The people who answer the incoming hotline calls have a binder sitting next to the phone that they can reference for you – for YOUR BENEFIT.

Today, think about hating the spath instead of yourself. You didn’t do anything to DESERVE hatred. The spath, on the other hand, DID.

Brightest, supportive, and loving blessings


BLOSSOM4, thanks for your comments. I really am trying the best I can to take care of myself. It’s just so hard. I have very little support. My family is on the other side of the country. I have a few close friends, but they are busy, busy, busy. They work, have families, etc; always busy. But I have thought many times about finding someone to deliver the children to the monster for me. The biggest problem with that is that the children would really be devastated if I did that. They just would not handle it well, especially me eldest who has tremendous anxiety about going over there in the first place. But it would be so freeing if I never had to see his ugly face or hear his despicable voice ever again. His cruelty torments me. He’s cruel to the children, but no one cares. He won’t give them a blanket when they are cold. Makes them eat food they’ve dropped on the floor. Won’t let them eat the lunch I pack for them because he’s in a hurry to go shopping, then buys himself food at the drive thru and won’t give them any. Nothing social services would take very seriously, but abuse in my opinion.

OX DROVER, Thanks. I really am trying to put that oxygen mask on myself first. It’s just so hard. They have so many needs and there’s only so much time. Part of it that I just don’t know what it is that I actually need, except companionship, support, PEOPLE. But I don’t have enough of that and I can’t make that happen. People are busy, and they don’t understand the hell I’ve been through so even when they try to be supportive, it’s just not enough. I need someone to UNDERSTAND. That’s why I come here. You understand.

I need someone to understand why I fear him, and why I cringe every time I hear his voice, and why I dread every single interaction with him. I need someone to understand that I grieve… I grieve deeply and despondently about the fact that I threw my life away when I said, “I do.” That 14 years of my life are gone and I can never get them back. I need someone to understand the profound loneliness that I have lived and still am living. I need someone to understand that it’s not easy to take care of three children alone. And it’s not easy to get up every day and know that you will see no one today except your children. And it’s not easy to know that you lost so much because you trusted people who can’t be trusted.

TRUTHSPEAK, I’ll check out that movie. That comment about shame really makes sense. I do have a deep sense of shame that I became ensnared by that monster and that he continues to reign over me in some regard. I think you’re right about the counseling therapy but I can’t find anyone like that. I live in a small town. There just aren’t many therapists here and most of them are lousy. It doesn’t help that the monster is a licensed psychologist and the domestic abuse hotline operates out of the hospital where he works. I do have a wonderful christian counselor and he has helped me tremendously, but truthfully, he really doesn’t understand the abuse I endured, nor the pain I feel because of it.

Another big problem with my recovery is that I was not only scammed by the monster but I hired a psychopathic lawyer who ripped me off and did nothing to protect my interests, so I ended up bankrupt and that monster got everything in that lousy divorce. He got all the money, all the “stuff,” all of his assets. I got nothing (financially). Child support and a house that’s needs work and which I cannot afford. I reported the attorney and he got away with it. Evil seems to always prevail. I tell myself and I do believe this, that he’s really the one who got nothing and I got everything because I got the kids, but it still hurts to have been taken, and scammed, and robbed like that.


Lovingthem, call the hotline. Just do it. Or, call the County or National hotline. You are not obligated to provide your name. Just ask for a list of counselors in the region that are familiar with PSTD, etc.

“Christian” counselors operate under a different system of beliefs. I’m not slamming religion, but it was our flawed system of beliefs that drew spaths to us, and us to THEM, in the first place.

In “No Fault” divorce, it’s about “equitable distribution,” and NOT what is “fair.” There are no punitive damages awarded in “No Fault,” therefore, the defendant could be the slimiest thing on this planet, and it doesn’t matter. This is the hardest thing to accept: our emotions DO NOT MATTER in a Court of Law. We want justice and fairness, and it simply doesn’t happen.

“Shame” and fear are driving forces for victims of spaths. I can type this from personal experience – ALL of my choices and decisions throughout my lifetime were shame-core fear-based, and it took some hard, mean, painful, and serious work to accept and process that information.

Of COURSE, it hurts!!! I have physical proof of over 75K in forgeries, and the exspath hasn’t faced a single consequence, YET. The feelings are real, Lovingthem – but, those “feelings” need to be safely separated from the facts. Only a trained professional that “gets it” can help you do that to your benefit.

I truly understand the desperation, disappointment, and painful processes. You’re going to be okay – in due time, you’re going to be okay.

Brightest blessings

Ox Drover

Dear Loviingthem,

Knowledge is power, and you seem to know that you need IN REAL LIFE LIVE PEOPLE FOR SUPPORT. Do call the hot line or find the nearest domestic violence shelter in your area, my guess is that they will have a support group. GO!!!!! Find what you need and grasp it. Find a counselor and GO!!!! Put on that oxygen mask so you can take care of those wonderful children.

You can’t change his behavior…that’s beyond your power, but you can change yours for the better. Seek out and grasp what you need for YOUR HEALING. You need validation and understanding, so GO FIND IT! It is there if you will seek it out. God bless. ((((Hugs)))

I feel your hurt in my heart.Your pain and anxiety comes through so clearly in the words you type.Truthspeaks quote about lost ones dying due to shame,sure ‘hit home’ with me.I tried to make the sham of a marriage work for 23 yrs-and yet I knew I didn’t love him anymore!

I understand too,about not being near family members.My husband never suceeded in getting me as far away as he wanted,but none of my family live in this state.

I am fortunate though,in having good and supportive friends(even though they do have busy schedules!).I receive my counseling at a domestic violence shelter.A counselor like that would be great to help you with getting the children to their father.Of course,they would first gain the trust of the children.But,I did read that your ex is a psychologist;and of your concerns there.So it must be your decision.But as Truthspeak encouraged you,and I agree,you should call the hotline.Afterall.They are there to help women who are abused,not their husbands who seem to be somebody because they work in the hospital and have a license.Remember…it is time to rise above shame and fear;time to care for you and your precious children!


Truthspeak, I understand “equitable distribution” but I did not get even that. I was encouraged strongly to settle for something that was in the monster’s best interest. I was taken for all the money I had (actually all the credit I had because I charged my legal fees) and two days before the trial I was pressured to settle out of court. I’ll never know if the judge’s decision would have been equitable or not, but the settlement was not. That’s another thing I berate myself for. I should have gone to court instead of settling for something so unreasonable. I mean after a 12 year marriage I get no spousal support even though I’m disabled. My lawyer told me that I should settle because the monster had so much credit card debt in his name that the judge would probably give me next to nothing in spousal support even though it was a 12 year marriage and I am disabled. And that lousy credit card debt that he incurred was all done behind my back without my knowledge, but I have to pay for it in reality by not getting any spousal support. I settled on keeping the house even though I didn’t want it. I shouldn’t have agreed to this because the house needs thousands of dollars of work which I cannot afford to pay. So, I am going to have to sell and rent which isn’t so bad but there’s a housing crunch where I live which could make it difficult to find a place that I can afford.

The monster threatened when I filed for divorce that “you and those kids are going to live in squalor and it’s your own damn fault because you don’t give a damn about them.” He’s right about the squalor, but he’s the one who doesn’t give a damn about them.

I just cannot go to the local shelter. They are connected to the hospital where he works. He knows all the counselors and they know him. I just won’t do that.

Yes, Christian counselors approach things differently, but I do agree with 90% of the counseling I received from this guy. We need to trust the Lord with all of our pain, trust that His grace is sufficient (as HE told Paul). Living in constant bitterness and self pity does not help us. We need find things for which to be thankful, like the fact that my kids are safe with me, and not in the monster’s primary care, and the fact that I am healthy and can take care of them, that I’m not living in the street, and so many other blessings that I so frequently forget to be thankful about. And we need to focus on blessing and helping others and in doing so we bless and help ourselves. And we need to replace our faulty thinking with Biblical truth… we are not worthless because we were scammed, we are children of the King, worth dying for (Jesus). Amen. All of these things my counselor taught me are true and they saved my life, but I keep looking for something else to ease my pain. I’m probably looking in the wrong places. Only God truly understands what that monster did to me. And He cares more than anyone else ever could.


Lovingthem, I can “feel” the anguish in your words – the anger, the outrage, the desperation and I identify 100%. I’m not going to go into what “squalor” could be – this is about your pain and not my experiences.

I’m so sorry that you’re in such anguish, I really am. We help others, but we also need to see to our own needs, FIRST, especially where our emotional recovery is concerned. Without strong self-esteem (NOT vanity) and self-reliance (NOT dependency), we will remain vulnerable to every manner of snake in the grass.

What you’re looking for to ease your pain is within your own Self – God gave you certain qualities and charactersistics for you to build upon. You have already been gifted with the things that you need to recover. Finding someone who can help you to unlock those priceless qualities would be helpful. Even if the spath works in tandem with the domestic violence hotline, you are not obligated to provide your name – just ask for a list of recommended counselors. You can simply tell the person answering the phone that you are associated with someone that could quite possibly learn of your call and that you prefer to remain anonymous.

God most certainly knows what you’ve experienced. but others out there (and, on this blog) “truly understand” the loss of everything and the depth of betrayal that you’ve experienced.

Keep reading. Keep posting. Keep digging, and really consider giving the hotline a call. You’re words suggest a level of distress that is grievous to read. I’ve been in that pit of despair, and it seems bottomless. There is everything on this earth to strive for and your recovery will come. It may be slow, but it will come.

Brightest blessings to you


Thanks truthspeak. I will give it some thought. I could call anonymously. I think it’s the isolation that is getting to me the most. I just don’t have anyone to talk most of the time. I think part of my struggle is that the divorce was final in Sept but things are still in limbo with the house and everything so there still not that closure that I need. And I’m so darn busy just surviving day to day and trying to take good care of my children that I really don’t do anything to take care of myself. I tell myself that if I pray, trust the Lord, and live my life in a way that pleases Him, that I should be fine… those things should heal me, but so far they have not. And I still have to see his face and hear his voice during those exchanges. I need to never see nor hear him again.

Ox Drover

Lovingthem, I hear the fatigue and isolation in your posts…and the entire situation does TIRE US OUT just like digging a ditch with a shovel would make you tired, so does dealing with emotional toil.

You must REST…take care of you before you break down and can’t take care of your children.

Closure will take some TIME, but it will come, so in the mean time you must do things for YOURSELF…to keep you strong.

Exercise…even if you don’t feel like it….take your kids and go for a walk it will be good for them too.

Sort out what HAS TO BE DONE and what can WAIT…let the things that can be left a while go and only do what you HAVE TO DO. So get some time to yourself to read, pray and think and relax.

The Bible promises that God will not give us more than we can handle, but it doesn’t say he won’t put ALL we can handle on us, but you have assurances that you CAN handle what is going on.

You and your children are in my prayers. God bless.



I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say other than I am thinking of you and you have us here to help you, OK? HUGS to you.


Thanks everyone. I’m glad I found this place.

I thought of you and by extension all lovefraud readers, when my counselor handed me another book today.The name of it is,”Self-Compassion” by Kristin Neff,PH.D.I haven’t had a chance to start reading the book yet,but I noticed on the inside of the back of the book jacket,a web site I’ve read enough to tell that this is going to be a good book!

If you’re like me,you “learned” from your parents to take adversity with a stiff upper lip,or if you could manage it,a smile.You probably also learned to put the welfare of others before yourself.Those aren’t bad qualities-if kept in balance.Oxy brought out some good pointers,such as MAKING THE TIME to take a walk,read pray,think & relax.One of the the things that ‘woke me up’ to the fact that I couldn’t stay with my husband was that I could never have the time to get my thoughts collected together and pray.(((Hugs)))

Ox Drover

Blossom, one of the common tactics that spaths use is to keep us DISTRACTED with one crisis or another so that we are always in the “spin cycle” emotionally and mentally. Keeps us from being able to THINK or pray or take care of ourselves.

That’s why we have to, must, stop worrying about things that are unimportant in the great scheme of things and only do and focus on those things that are really important. It may be as simple as leaving the dishes in the sink and using the time to take a bubble bath…



You’re in my thoughts and prayers today. Happy Valentine’s Day! Your kids are blessed because they have You. I KNOW that life is difficult, challenging. Try not to beat yourself up over the past (regarding your decisions). I love the advice that the other posters’ give each other, applying some of the suggestions in my own life. I totally understand what you’ve posted, having had the same thoughts, feelings, etc. You’re not alone. Women past and present have been in our shoes. Just try and not be hard on yourself but easy, gentle. Peace.


My sister talked some sense into me last night. She reminded me that life simply is not fair. I get so hung up on how unfair it is that I was victimized by marriage fraud and then further victimized by my lawyer. But the truth is that almost everyone suffers injustice in this life. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself if I am going to recover. And I need to stop blaming myself.

blossom4th, I’ll check into that book. It reminds me of something I’ve been working on lately… accepting God’s grace. Compassion and grace go hand in hand. I am so quick to extend compassion, grace, and forgiveness to others, but not to myself. Yes, I did learn in my childhood to accept adversity (and mistreatment) as the norm and to neglect my own basic needs for the benefit of others. That’s probably one of the many reasons I ended up being the victim of marriage fraud. His callousness and disregard for my needs was “familiar” enough to me that I was not alarmed as I should have been. I was used to fending for myself and accustomed to never having my own needs or feelings considered or protected.

Ox Drover


The article I wrote that was posted today was for you, but it was also for ME because I too have let the cares of this world overwhelm me and knock me off the path toward healing and taking care of myself. Taking care of ourselves is or should be at least NUMBER ONE.

Here is the link to it in case you haven’t seen it or read it, please do. These things all are good for us, easy and free if we will just DO them.

EXACTLY! Once I was out of the sham;the spin-cycle,and got myself into counseling,I realized that many of our behaviors are learned in childhood.Unfortunately,they are behaviors that at their worst are dysfunctional;at their best are “lopsided” (my own term,meaning it’s only 1/2 of the way things ought to be).It is an admirable thing to show compassion to other people.Yet,if you fail to show compassion to yourself,how long will it be before you become exhausted;perhaps even bitter?!How long will you still find room in your heart to show compassion for others?

Funny thing,I was just thinking today about a bubble bath and I log in and read your post mentioning the same,lol!

Ox Drover is correct. Many are from the U.S. and often they are women as perpetrators. I am still digging out from the aftermath of a sociopathic/psychopathic “spouse” who took everything, including my sanity and security.

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